The Rules for Marathon Cheering

I am well-known among my family, friends and the running community at large as being one of the loudest, most enthusiastic cheerleaders. I cheer for everyone. I love cheering. No one is spared the embarrassment of getting a shout-out from me, should they happen to run by. I am especially bananas during the New York City Marathon, which happens to be JUST AROUND THE CORNER! I lose my voice on Marathon Sunday. Always.

We’ve talked about how cheering can be inspiring for your own running, right? Well, with all of the marathons in the upcoming weeks, there will be a lot of opportunities for you to get out and cheer on your fellow runners. Trust me, you need to get out there and watch people run their hearts out. It’s awe-inspiring. There is always “that guy” who has a FREE HUGS poster and “those runners” who take him up on it. So fun.

But there are rules.

#1. Cheer for everyone. Yes, you are probably out there to cheer on your one/ten friends, but there are lots of other runners who could use your smile, clapping and cheering. And since you’re already there, you may as well offer support to them, too.

#2. Do NOT yell “You’re almost there.” Unless you can see the finish line, they are NOT “almost there” and this will make them angry, not inspired.

#3. Do NOT say “Go faster!” They are going as fast as they can, I promise. No one wants to be out there any longer than they absolutely have to be and telling them to hurry up isn’t helping.

#4. Tell everyone “You look/are doing great!”. Even if they don’t look and aren’t doing so great. Encouragement, even from perfect strangers, goes a long way during a marathon.

#5. Don’t crowd the course. This one is SO important for those of you who want to be on 5th Avenue in Manhattan during the New York City Marathon. If you step out onto the course and crowd the runners, you can cause a funnel that causes a backup on the course. No bueno. Stay on the sidewalk, behind the lines and barricades. The runners will appreciate it.

For those of you who have a marathon nearby in the next couple of weeks, step outside and cheer on those remarkable individuals who’ve decided that they are going to take on the challenge of 26.2 miles, some of them against incredible odds or for very noble causes. They will smile at you, shout back, thank you, hug you, hit on you, ask you for booze and otherwise love that you are cheering for them.

If you want to come out and cheer during the New York City Marathon and don’t have a spot already, consider joining our luluelmon athletica crew up on 125th St. & 5th Ave. We will have a DJ and loads of enthusiastic people cheering like wild banshees. I will have two cowbells, per usual. And if you’re in Philadelphia during the Philly Marathon, look for me and JB. I will have my name on my shirt because I love when people shout, “Go Abby!” We know no one in the city and will need all the cheerleaders we can get!

Regardless, get out there and cheer. It’s the best gift you can give your runner friend/family member/significant other. Everyone needs a cheerleader.

Now go out and run!





How To Love a Good Run In the Rain

Confession: I have not always loved running in the rain. In junior high and high school cross country, it meant slogging through seemingly endless miles of mud and yuck soaked to the bone in my cotton uniform to a finish line that looked like a brown Slip ‘n Slide only to ride home on a bus with a bunch of sweaty, dirty, smelly, filthy runners. Yuck.

Bless the Obi-wans for coming out to those cross country races and standing in the rain to watch me trudge past them. It could not have been fun for them, either.

Today is SO different. I love the rain. I ran one of my favorite 21 mile training runs in the rain all over Manhattan a couple of years ago. The park is quieter, the runners are nicer and there’s something more peaceful about a run in the rain than in any other weather. The other piece of the puzzle is my beloved gear. Thank heavens for lululemon!! I mean, good clothes really make running in inclimate weather not only possible, but enjoyable.

But it’s not always roses and puppies out there. You have to be in the right mind-set and prepare yourself for a few key situations when heading out for a run in the rain. Here is a sure-fire way to have a great run in the rain, in my experience.

#1. Leave your watch/Garmin/iPod at home. The rain (and likely, the wind) will probably slow you down a little. Plus, it’s better to keep your focus on the road/trail when it’s slick and only made more slippery by fallen leaves. Unplug and enjoy the scenery.

#2. Dress for success. Wear fitted, moisture-wicking clothing and a hat or a visor. Loose stuff will whack against your skin and get heavier with every mile, especially if it’s not a good tech fiber. Here’s what I wore today:


Turbo TankSpeedy Run Hat, Run: For Your Life Crops & the very fabulous (and now unavailable) Run: Essential Jacket. Rain usually means a sweaty, humid run for me so I don’t like to layer it up too much under my jacket. The hat is so key for me because nothing spoils a run like problems with my contact lenses.  Also, braids for the win!

#3. Plan on getting wet. Sounds silly, right? But, if you need to be back at your desk 5 minutes after your run and you have nowhere to shower and towel off, you probably want to save your run for a time when you can. This goes for your shoes, too. Probably not a day for a double-down in the gym after your soggy, beautiful run because they will look like this:


Sopping. Soggy. Wet. Dirty. Basically unwearable. Dry overnight.

#4. Treat it like a fun run. Don’t try and do a massive amount of speed work or some crazy mileage on a rainy day. Go out, do your best, get ‘er done and all that, but keep it light and don’t expect too much. Dodging umbrellas on 5th Avenue always slows me down, but if I plan for it, it’s not nearly as aggravating.

#5. Just do it, already! Commit. Don’t complain. Don’t procrastinate. Get out there and run. Running in the rain is akin to reliving childhood moments so enjoy it!

Now go out and run!